Are We To Perish As Fools?

My weekly column will appear tomorrow at 10am. Today is a holiday. It’s the day we set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.

I’m not sure we’re doing that these days. By “these days” I’ll specifically refer to this weekend. After more than a year of a divisive election, we as a country seem hell bent on having all of what we want, and none of what the other political side wants. As such, any means seem to justify the ends. If that means demonizing any and all who support the other side, so be it.

This is unhealthy, and cannot continue. Something’s got to give.

One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed this role and this space is that State issues are mostly non-partisan. In a state that’s supermajority Republican, issues aren’t decided by partisan talking points. More often, they’re decided on a coalition when the suburban voters join either urban or rural representatives. We unite based on geography to solve problems, which means at least at some point we do identify with our neighbors. There’s a grain of hope in that.

As we’ve written more here about national politics, and as some state issues are now in Washington’s court (i.e, Medicaid reform/ACA repeal), the tone here among our regulars is also hyper-partisan. Folks that used to be able to have a decent and respectful conversation have resorted to rote talking points. Even here, we’re drifting apart.

I don’t have a solution. This one’s above my pay grade. But as it is MLK day, I’ll start with a quote tweeted this morning by WSB:

“We must live together as brothers, or perish together as fools” – Martin Luther King Jr.

That’s not a lighthearted quote, nor is it a throwaway to mark today and move on to business as usual. A Democratic Republic cannot exist if the participants adopt a model of a zero sum game. We must work together. Everyone must win something.

Too many of us are playing an all or nothing game. If we keep this up, the only way it can end is with nothing. And only fools will let that happen. Let’s not be among them please.

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